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Review: ‘The Stick’ Self Massage Tool

by Technically Running » on Jan 11, 2012 16

We, the “TR Crew”, are soon-to-be-married running partners, Meagan and Steve. Meagan is a graduate student and avid volcano and pie enthusiast. Steve, a senior recruiter at Robert Half Technology, is a self-proclaimed nerd and lover of all things Apple. We began running in May 2011 as a way to get in shape for our upcoming wedding, but it didn’t take long for us to realize that running was becoming a real passion for us.

Not long after we started, we decided to switch to minimalist footwear, and after completing our first 10k race a few months later in our Vibram FiveFingers, we knew we were totally hooked! We began blogging in November of 2011 at TechnicallyRunning.com about our running experiences, including our transition to FiveFingers and the many gadgets we’ve tested out!

Anyone who has made the transition into minimalist footwear is familiar with what we at Technically Running like to refer to as the “calf-ocolypse”. It is the sometimes intense soreness that occurs after a run during the earliest weeks of the transition period, when the tendons and muscles in the calves and ankles are just beginning to stretch out and strengthen to accommodate a new midfoot strike. Many people have asked, “What did you do to deal with the pain?”. Recently, the TR Crew’s answer, without falter, is “Stick it!”

The Stick and its Packaging

“The Stick” is referred to by its maker, Intracell, as “A Toothbrush for Muscles”. Its purpose is to “roll knots out of muscles, providing myofascial release, and trigger point therapy”. At a very basic level, “The Stick” is nothing but a flexible plastic dowel rod with large beads wedged between two rubberized handles.

Truth be told, it is something that we laughed at when we originally laid eyes on it at our local running store. Its simplistic design, and price tag of $35 (for the mid-size model), made us think that we could just as easily make one ourselves. That being said, the cost of the parts alone would likely run you very close to its full price, especially because a specialized plastic is used for the central rod, so we swallowed our pride and purchased one. Only after we bought it did we realize that we should have made this decision much earlier in our transition period, as “The Stick” probably would’ve eliminated or helped to lessen much of the soreness we experienced!

Flexibility of The Stick

Simplicity (and our initial dismissal) aside, it is the best tool we have found for calming the terrible pains of “calf-ocolypse”. The best part about it is that you can stick it in a lot of places! It can be used to relieve discomfort of the calves, thighs, butt, back, neck, arms, and shoulders. Its multi-purpose use has been especially helpful for Meagan, because she sometimes suffers from shoulder pain due to an old overuse injury. “The Stick” has proven to be particularly handy for soothing any muscle pain she is experiencing.

“The Stick” is available in several different versions, each varying in size, firmness, color, and price (ranging from $23 to $53). We went with “The Sprinter“, which is in between the travel and full size sticks and is the firmest of its size. According to their site, it is “the most versatile of all of the short sticks.”

Every stick comes with a travel case, and an instruction manual that explains the benefits of using “The Stick” and has tips and examples of where and how to use it. You can pick one up on Amazon or you may find it at a local running shop, like we did.

Submitted Comments

  1. Erin says:

    Where can we find this in Canada?

  2. Tyler Hurst says:

    I love mine. I have the same model, purchased after I saw all the good runners using varying brands before and after half marathons.

    Great for my IT band, shins and calves.

    Also great for the deep issues I can’t get, as my fiancee can use it to get out kinks without having to push very hard (she’s little, I’m big).

  3. Melanie says:

    Thank you for this review and letting me know about a new product.

    But please, fix the punctuation errors. “It’s” is a contraction of “it is.” The possessive of “it” is “its.” This is the only time when a possessive does NOT have an apostrophe, specifically in order to distinguish it from the contraction.

    When you talk about the Stick’s multi-purpose use, you meant “its” rather than “it’s.” The error is very distracting to readers who know the difference, and makes an otherwise very helpful review look careless.

  4. TR Crew says:

    Whoops! Sorry about that. We’ll pass that along to Brian and see if we can get those fixed. We’re usually sticklers for grammar, too, so I’m surprised we let that one slip!

  5. TR Crew says:

    We haven’t been able to find any specific retailers online that offer The Stick in Canada. The Stick’s website does mention that you can email them (info@thestick.com) about shipping rates for international orders, so we’re assuming that means you would be able to get it shipped to Canada for an extra cost. We just sent an email to them asking if there are any specific retailers that sell The Stick in Canada, so we will let you know when we hear back!

  6. Brian Patterson says:

    All fixed, I think

  7. Steve Dinn says:

    I applaud what this company is trying to do, and while the Stick is clearly a better option for travelling, a foam roller is much cheaper and can help you accomplish the same goals. Also tennis or hockey balls are great for getting deep in your sore muscles.

  8. Nicolas O says:

    I love this product!!! I bought the Stick at the expo for the Disney Half Marathon here, and it’s become my best friend. The day of the half (my first half btw) I was super sore, so the Stick really felt like heaven. Its like scratching an itch with the perfect pressure….

  9. The Stick is great. When I use The Stick after a long run, I recover much faster. I mostly use it on my calves and quads.

  10. TR Crew says:

    Heard back from Intracell about where to purchase The Stick in Canada. They say that their Canadian online distributor is http://www.thestick.net. You can also go to http://intracell.info/rpirs/Retailers.php to find retail stores that you can visit in person to buy The Stick!

  11. Ken Zelez says:

    Hi Everyone….We distribute The Stick in Alberta, Canada. The main Canadian distributor is Rob Bechard of http://www.thestick.net. We are found at http://www.thestick.ca. Keep Rolln’!

  12. Chris Allen says:

    Purchased one of these recently off of amazon.com. Wish I had discovered it earlier as well. I’ve been barefooting about a year, and can’t say for sure that this jewel would have made my transition shorter, but I’d wager it would have been less painful. Recommend for anyone who needs to work out a few kinks. Kids love playing with it too…..

  13. Joanne says:

    I just purchased “The Stick” at http://www.thestick.ca which is in Calgary Alberta.

  14. Jim Walker says:

    Just wondering why a 5 buck kitchen rolling pin would not work just as well?

  15. I run and walk trails. Even with stretching afterwards, sometimes at night I can’t get to sleep because my calf muscles tighten up. I could get up and go through a long, slow stretching regimen, which isn’t bad, but this device gives me a quick, effective way to get the tenseness out of my calf muscles.

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